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Alibaba Gives a Shot in the Arm to China’s Vaccine Distribution Plan for Africa

Members of Alibaba's logistics division Cainiao pose in front of an Ethiopian Airlines jet to mark a new vaccine distribution partnership. Photo: handout.

China’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan in Africa is slowly starting to come into focus. Yesterday’s news that Cainiao (菜鸟网络科技有限公司), the powerful logistics arm of e-commerce giant Alibaba, is teaming up with Ethiopian Airlines to build an international cold-chain network with hubs in Addis Ababa and Dubai is a key indicator that Beijing is going to put some real muscle into this effort.

It’s hard to overstate just how important it is that a company like Cainiao is now involved in the vaccine distribution plan. There’s no other company on the planet, not even Amazon, that does logistics on the scale that Cainiao does. Remember that these are the same people who delivered a stunning $75 billion worth of goods that were sold within just 24-hours during last month’s Single’s Day shopping bonanza.

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